By: Justin Worthing ~Staff Writer~
Xavier’s Student Government Association (SGA) held its spring senate elections March 25 to 26. Although the main senate elections occur in the fall, SGA held this special spring election to fill seven vacant positions. All seven candidates received enough votes to fill these positions.
The new senators are Zeina Farhat, Jack Fuller, Emma Gripshover, Brandon Kobus, Alexandra Martinez, Caleb Mickler and Adrian Parker.
Farhat is a member of Student Activities Council’s Live Entertainment Committee and will serve as a Manresa Orientation Team group leader next semester. She was formerly the Student Body President at Ursuline Academy and she wants to use her new position to “improve the average student’s life here at Xavier.”
One thing that she would improve about Xavier is communication between incoming students and their advisors to improve first-semester registration. Fuller ran for senator because he “would like to be more involved and help make Xavier a better place.”
He hopes to eventually put staplers by every printer, using a small portion of the paper funds to purchase them. Gripshover wants to use her political experience to listen to Xavier’s students, faculty, staff and surrounding community and “act as a medium to introduce their ideas.” She has worked on local and national campaigns for a few years and worked in her high school’s student government.
As a senator, she hopes to improve inclusion and diversity efforts on campus by increasing awareness of Smooth Transitions, promoting more cooperation between Smooth Transitions and Manresa and raising diversity awareness in Cincinnati’s public schools through diversity clubs. Kobus hopes to use his “understanding of the wants and needs of the student body” to improve his “home away from home.”
He has participated in College Republicans, Financial Managers Association and Business Leaders of Tomorrow and he strives to both preserve the characteristics of Xavier he takes pride in and “create more reasons for prospective students to choose X.” He seeks to change the Complicity Statement in the Student Handbook that holds bystanders of a violation responsible even if they are not participating. In addition, he hopes to redirect the money acquired by tickets, sanctions and write-ups to charity.
Martinez seeks to form new ideas that will benefit Xavier students using her “innovative and creative mind.” She believes her communication skills, interpersonal attributes, flexibility and passion will make her a strong senator. As a senator, she wants to change the parking lot policies and allow on-campus students to park in the commuter or faculty lots on weeknights and weekends. She plans to create this proposal through student signatures and testimonies.
Mickler sees his role in senate as a “catalyst for getting questions answered and coming up with real solutions that better serve students.” He has experience with programs such as the Black Student Association, Student Activities Council, Center for Interfaith Community Engagement, Learning Cabinet, Gentlemen Organized for Achievement and Leadership and more.
He hopes to use some of his term to propose a three-year bachelor’s degree program that may improve retention, graduation rates and costs. He plans to work with the department chairs and co-chairs to accomplish this. Parker looks to enact change at Xavier and show students that they actually have a voice on campus. He is currently a member of the Gentlemen Organized for Achievement and Leadership and works as the freshman representative on Board of Elections.
He is also working on a crowd funding project with Aramis Consulting. He seeks to promote more diversity on campus by working on the Student Rights and Identity Committee and partnering with the admissions office, minority clubs and organizations. “Executives are looking forward on working with new senators to help make Xavier University the forefront of promoting individual growth and community building centered on the concept of inclusion,” SGA president Andrew Redd said concerning future work with the senators.